Mines (Bonus Track Version)
Menomena’s fourth LP wasn’t named after earthly excavations used to extract natural resources. Mines was titled to reference the plural possessive word “mine” because of the Portland trio’s approach to songcraft. They use a computer program called Deeler that digitally loops a drum track before a microphone is passed around for each member to loop their own improvised riff. In this way, the songwriting process is democratic and each member can exert equal amounts of possessive control-freakishness. But within that method, their tearing down and rebuilding of a previous member’s parts birthed the brilliance of Mines. “Queen Black Acid” layers instruments that slowly snowball into a cacophonous flurry of pulsing bass, groaning guitar feedback and sleigh bells while “Taos” unleashes a more aggressively driving rhythm section with bursts of guitar squeal. Stunning standout track “Tithe” begins with the plucking of an African mbira before beats fall like hailstones and flickering piano notes intertwine with bass and guitar, sounding like it could all fall apart at any second. Bonus track “The Insulation” flies like a tattered flying carpet soaring through a storm of sounds.